With over 150 million business reviews, Yelp is one of the most popular online business review sites. Like it or not, it’s a multibillion-dollar business in its own right. You have to take it seriously.

Research proves that millennial consumers and professionals rely heavily on social media platforms for online business reviews and influence. Read on to learn why you need to embrace this reality.

Credibility

Consumers use online reviews to test the credibility of your business. The more positive reviews they read the greater the credibility of your business. Reputation has always been important but online review sites make accessing this information so easy that you have to accept this is your reputation and not hide from it.

Search Engine Optimization

If your business uses the internet and you want your site to appear in web searches, search engine optimization matters to you. A Google search is influenced by how your business performs in online reviews. Overall ratings and even the number of reviews make a difference to your search engine ranking.

Millennials are Savvy Shoppers

The millennial generation is frugal. They know how to make comparisons of price and service and they use this knowledge to get value. This easy access to information can work for you or against you depending on whether you engage with it or not.

Customer Relationship

Many businesses say they put customers at the center of their business thinking. When it comes to the crunch they shy away from engaging. Reviews can be a way of connecting to customers.

When a customer leaves a review, whether it’s good or bad, respond. This shows you care. Turn the negatives into positives and give even more authority to the positive reviews.

Social Matters

Your customers spend a huge amount of time on social media platforms. If your customers are teens you should expect them to spend up to 9 hours a day on social media. An amazing 30% of all online time is social.

The social media exchange of views about your business has to interest you. Your suppliers, customers, and employees are talking about you. What’s more, they’re learning about you too.

Be part of the discussion. Advertise, interact and listen, very hard.

Negative Reviews Hurt

Any negative comments hurt. If they’re unfair they hurt because of the injustice of it. If they’re true they can hurt more.

What to do about it? Respond promptly but not emotionally. Admit mistakes but correct inaccuracies.

Be real rather than corporate. Ask loyal customers to share their experience and highlight your strengths. Take it offline and offer restitution if necessary.

Continuous Improvement

Feedback can be a powerful resource. Use it to improve your business and you may look back on negative reviews with a new perspective. It can be the basis for building better services and products and a source of competitive advantage.

Engage and Encourage Online Business Reviews

When you know you’ve delivered satisfaction encourage those reviews to be online. Encourage direct feedback from unhappy customers. You might find resolving a problem elicits great positive online business reviews.

 Let’s talk about your business.